Chicago Mosque Shot With Air Rifle, Security Guard Narrowly Avoids Being Shot

AFP reports that a Chicago-area mosque was shot at with an air rifle this weekend:

Two air rifle shots struck the outer wall of a mosque and Muslim education center outside Chicago overnight, the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Sunday.

The shots were heard by worshippers who were outside the mosque and were powerful enough to damage the building's brick wall, it added.

The shots were allegedly fired by a neighbor with a history of opposition to the mosque, said the Chicago chapter of CAIR, the United States' largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group.

TheChicago Tribune adds that the suspected shooter, 51-year-old David Conrad, has been charged "with three counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm and one count of criminal damage to property, all felonies. He's scheduled for a bond hearing on Monday." One of the shots allegedly fired by Conrad reportedly missed a security guard by just inches.

This is reportedly not the first time the mosque has sustained criminal damage.

Raw Story reports on the shooting in the context of recent anti-Muslim sentiments, including this statement by Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh just hours before this weekend's mosque shooting: "One thing I’m sure of is that there are people in this country – there is a radical strain of Islam in this country – it’s not just over there – trying to kill Americans every week. It is a real threat, and it is a threat that is much more at home now than it was after 9/11."

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at August 13, 2012, 10:36am

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